Brother White, a convert, wanted to do temple work for his deceased family members, but he needed names listed in a family Bible that his sister would not share with him.
One day, Sister White was walking to visit a relative who lived three miles from her when the Holy Spirit prompted her to visit Brother White’s sister, who lived three miles in the other direction. The Whites did not have a car, so Sister White decided that she would go the next day. But three times she felt impressed to go immediately. She did. When she arrived she was greeted with these words: “We were just talking about you. Here is that family Bible you have been wanting.”
With great excitement, the Whites set out to clear the names through TempleReady™. They knew that they could have the ward consultant do it for them or do it themselves. The Whites decided to include their teenage son, Carl, who was interested in preparing the names of his ancestors for the temple. They took all of the family’s information with them to the FamilySearch® workstation. Together they checked the FamilySearch files and found no record of work previously done for these ancestors. (Because these ancestors were not members and did not tie into pioneer ancestry, checking FamilySearch files was all that was needed.) Then they were ready to have Carl type the names into the blank spaces on the TempleReady screen. They obtained two diskettes at the FamilySearch workstation and, with the help of their ward consultant, began.
Carl typed in the names, birth dates and places, marriage dates and places, and death dates for each person. He answered the few questions presented on the computer screen by pressing the appropriate keys.
The Whites learned that TempleReady files are international in scope, so they wrote out the names of states and did not use the two-letter abbreviations.
They understood that if a person was born within the last 95 years they should not submit the name for temple work without permission from the widow or widower, if still living, or from the children.
After Carl typed all the names into TempleReady, the computer checked to see if the temple work had already been done by searching a small selection of records in the ordinance index and its addendum, selected from the state in which the person was born or married. The names needing ordinances were then placed on a diskette and a paper report printed.
Brother and Sister White carefully proofread the report for correct spellings, dates, relationships, and ordinances approved. They also made sure that the names were marked Family File and that they were to be sent to the correct temple.
When they found an error, they brought the file back into the computer from the diskette, made the corrections, resaved the file, and reprinted the TempleReady paper report. Then they made a backup copy on a second diskette in case the original diskette were lost or damaged.
The Whites noted on their family records which ordinances had been submitted so that they would not submit them again. Then they mailed the diskette to the temple. Their plans included having their teenage children do the baptisms and the adults participate in the initiatory ordinances, endowment sessions, and sealings. They looked forward to sharing this special family experience.—, Salt Lake City, Utah
Golden Years of Service
I have heard many of my friends say that “the golden years” are not so golden. But I have found in my own life that there is much I can do to make my autumn years golden.
I have served in my Church callings and done temple work for my ancestors. I have also developed my talents. The first year I retired, I crocheted afghans for my eight children’s families. I recently took up oil painting, and half a dozen of my paintings now hang on the walls of my home. Drawing was my worst subject in school, but I have now mastered it somewhat.
A dear friend of mine, a professional dressmaker, has used her golden years to help me and others remodel clothing and make costumes. She also blesses the lives of many people in her ward by sharing her cookies, cakes, and soups. A professional musician I know who is over 80 is teaching some ward members to play the organ—for the love of service.
I have enjoyed traveling all my life. On my 67th birthday I climbed a hill overlooking the Magellan Straits—the roughest water in the world—and had my picture taken. I have also written articles, poetry, and books. We can all write journals and family histories and keep scrapbooks. Even when our physical energy must be conserved, we can read, and we can enjoy the world of nature by studying birds, insects, wildflowers, and trees. Our golden years truly can be golden if we interact with family and friends and continue to serve God, maker of all great and wonderful creations.—, Pleasant Grove, Utah
Old Photos to New
If you own old photos of relatives and want to send them to family members to identify, you may not want to mail the originals for fear they might be mishandled or lost in the mail. The solution is to copy them. Copying photos used to be complicated and technical, but cameras with through-the-lens focusing and modern lenses make it an easy task.
First mount the photograph on an easel. A cork bulletin board works well, or a piece of stiff cardboard, plasterboard, or plywood will do also.
Support the camera on a tripod, books, or another stable base. A cable release ensures against moving the camera as the shutter is tripped. I use the 10-second delay feature on my camera to do the same thing. It takes me about an hour to shoot a 24-picture roll of film.
I use a macro-zoom lens that focuses to four and a half inches, which gives me the capability of cropping some of the pictures to the desired portion of the photograph.
When sending the copies I have made to relatives who might be able to identify people and places in the photos, I put index numbers on the back of the photos and the same number on the negatives that I keep. I use one number for the roll of film and circle another number identifying the frame of the negative.
I am putting together a small album for each of my children with a brief history of the people in each photo and where the pictures were taken. I feel this has been a great aid to my family history research.—, Provo, Utah
Adopted, Not Different
Our family now has seven children, five of whom are adopted. When our children started school, I realized that I had neglected to prepare them to cope with the natural curiosity and, on occasion, insensitive comments of others. We’ve found that discussing the following questions and possible answers with our children has helped them in public situations.
Are you an orphan? One reply is, “Orphans are children who have no parents to care for them. We have parents who love us.”
You don’t look anything like your parents. A simple but confident “I’m adopted” will usually clarify the situation. It may be helpful to discuss with the child his or her appearance, especially if the child is of a different race.
What is it like to be adopted? Since a family with adopted children functions the same as any other family, a simply stated “It’s wonderful. What is it like not to be adopted?” will usually take care of the question.
Do you know anything about your real parents? The word real can make both parents and children feel uncomfortable. “Real” for the parent and child is what is here and now: the reality of what constitutes a family and family life. “I live with real parents who are raising me. I don’t know my birth parents” is all that’s needed. Or, if applicable, “I’ve met my birth parents, but I live with my real parents who are raising me.”
Sometimes, as parents, we are also asked difficult questions:
Which are your real children? I reply, “They are all my real children, but I gave birth to two of them. They are all mine.”
Do you feel any differently toward your adopted children than you do toward your birth children? “No,” I reply, “when my children each came into our home, they came into our hearts.”
Early communication about adoption helps promote a comfortable and secure atmosphere in the home. Being adopted does not mean being different; it means having a family and being loved by them. We are so blessed to have children who know they each are a child of God. There is much reason to rejoice in the knowledge that we are all a part of his eternal family.—, Visalia, California
Teaching the Mission of the Church
We decided to organize our family home evenings for the coming weeks around the threefold mission of the Church: proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead. We came up with a list of activities we could participate in as a family that would help our children better appreciate the Church’s mission.
Proclaiming the Gospel
Watch Church-produced videocassettes, such as Labor of Love and How Rare a Possession. Discuss them with the children.
Organize a family fund-raising project. Donate the funds to help support a missionary or to provide money for the ward mission fund or for the Book of Mormon fund.
Write letters to missionaries.
Perfecting the Saints
Plant a garden.
Clean garbage from neighborhood streets.
Serve shut-ins or less-active members.
Redeeming the Dead
Visit a nearby temple or temple visitors’ center.
Begin or update family journals, or read ancestors’ journals.
Take the family to visit a family history center to look for names of relatives.
Following these ideas helped us be better organized for family home evening and helped us teach important concepts to our children.—, Perry, Utah